musings on life, love and laughter from my spoken heart to yours

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Coming Clean… part 2

At the beginning of June I posted “Coming Clean”. I explained how I have been feeling that I need to put together a personal ritual or ceremony of cleansing over myself, my life, my family and my home. As part of this coming clean process I have been writing out cleansing statements. These statements represent what I want to say, and where I want to say them when I walk through my home, and carry on with my life. I personally believe that the spoken word has a lot of power. I believe that words can build, and that they can destroy. I know they can hold people prisoner. I also believe that part of the spoken word’s power is our faith in those words. We must acknowledge them and trust that they are true (or false) or they are just meaningless sounds uttered into the wind.

Anyways I have put together my daily “mantra” if you will. I have been saying this over myself at least twice a day since Monday June 22.

“I am calling home all of the energy that I have left behind or given away carelessly. And I release all energies that I am carrying that do not belong to me, sending them back to whomever or wherever they belong.”

(This mantra is evolving and keeps changing to be smoother and more meaningful to me as I continue to say it.)

I can’t say that these words are necessarily restoring me at this point but I can safely say that they are helping me to see what I do and what I don’t have control over, and that I can change the things I do have control over, and find peace with the things I don’t. These words are helping me to be more self aware about how I spend my energy, and about who I am pouring that energy into and to take a moment to look at why. To be able to ask myself “What is the motive for why I am doing this?” It’s important for me to be motivated by love, an honest desire to help or give and to have pure intentions. If I am acting out of guilt, duty, or because it’s just easier, then I probably should be saying no. If I have already said no then I need to stand by that unless there is a valid reason to change my mind. And if I am giving because I am motivated by gain, I need to re-evaluate the cost. Is that gain equal to or greater than what I am giving away?

I hope this doesn’t sound selfish in any way, it’s not meant to. I am acting on the premise of self care. I have spent far too much of my life as a “giver”. I have given till I have been depleted and then not been able to give when and where I really felt I should because there was nothing left. This practice has left me sick, tired and resentful. It’s time to learn to act on the things I have learned and believe. Self care is essential to caring for others. The bible says “Love your neighbour as yourself”, I think that if that is the second out of only two commands the first being “love the lord your God with all your heart” then it’s pretty freaking important. So why are we are taught that self love is the sin of pride? (That, my friends, is another conversation for another time.)

Here’s to coming out clean, no matter how long or how strange the process may seem. 🙂


The Golden Rule… and the difference between desiring and deserving…

 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.   Luke 6:31 NLT

The above Bible verse is universally known as “The Golden Rule”. It’s pretty simple really; treat people the way you want to be treated. It’s also common sense. We all want to be treated with respect, love and kindness, and we all know that the best way to receive these is by giving them. So why then are some people so mean? Why are there people out there constantly pushing other people’s buttons?

love meI am not really sure why but I have been thinking about this a fair amount lately.

Anyways I realized something. People do generally treat other people the way they want to be treated… OK maybe not the way they want to be treated; it’s more like the way they feel they deserve to be treated.

Really? Yea really, because deep down inside some of us really don’t believe that we deserve to be treated kindly.

So what am I saying here? That assholes like to be treated like assholes? Well… yes and no. First off we are all familiar with the expression “misery loves company”. This is very true. For example if I genuinely explore my motives when I am in a pissy mood I will behave in a confrontational manner – I act like a real jerk. (Anyone who knows me will tell you I normally avoid confrontation at almost all cost). However when I am in a deep blue funk sprinkled with a bit of asshole dust I tend to act like a real shit. Why? Because I want to spread my pissy mood around. It’s not that I necessarily want to be treated like crap, or make the ones I love feel like crap, but rather at that moment I feel like that is how I deserve to be treated. I feel like the world is down on me and all I deserve is to have those around me down on me too. So I make it so. (Which by the way usually makes me feel worse). Warped isn’t it?

worthlessLet’s look at angry people: it seems they treat other people like crap because they are choosing to keep others at arm’s length. But why? I think they feel that they do not deserve to be happy, to be loved, and are afraid that if they do let some-one in it can and will only end in hurt. These people are generally blindsided by some-one who is kind and loving towards them, because in their opinion they do not deserve it. (and so they will often act out even worse to push that person away)

And then there are those people – kids especially – who will take any attention they can get and if they are not currently getting positive attention then they will act out in such a manner as to get negative attention because at least they are getting attention. However these people eventually become conditioned to the negative attention via negative behaviour cycle and  after awhile they begin to feel that they are unworthy of positive attention.

I think it’s called self-fulfilling prophecy. “I am bad, worthless, stupid, hyper, in the way, ___________ (whatever fill in the blank) and do not deserve positive attention.”

So how do we maintain The Golden Rule? One that is so easy and so simple and so logical? How do we reach angry hurting people who believe themselves to be unwanted, unlovable, and undesirable? How do we convince them that they are worthy? That love, respect, happiness, and kindness are available for all people no strings attached, just because.

I have my days where I struggle with this simple truth, so what about those who have been damaged, whether by themselves or by outside sources, how do we help them, heal them and teach them? I think that if we really watched how those people treat themselves we would find that they do not generally treat themselves any better than the way the treat everyone else.

How do we convince the girl who feels that she is just a worthless whore, that she is beautiful and valuable? How do tell the young man that has been taunted and teased and called ‘fag’ his whole life that he has value and something amazing to offer the world? How do we, society, teach people to treat others as they want to be treated and NOT as they feel they deserve to be treated?

I don't remember this thing called love...

I don’t remember this thing called love…

I don’t have any answer except to treat everyone with love, kindness and respect (yourself included), and maybe eventually we can reach the hearts that seem unreachable….





Need vs. Love…

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other. The Dalai Lama (18 Rules for Living – #17)

I wish someone had told me this when I was younger. Sadly it is very easy to confuse love and need with one another; especially at the start. At first most relationships seem wonderful, even the bad ones. In the beginning it feels so good to be needed, let’s face it sometimes we just need to be needed. If we are lucky that need can be nurtured into something greater. In most cases we are not that lucky – I know I am not. So what’s the difference between a love and a need relationship?

Relationships built on love are healthy, uplifting, and beneficial to both parties. They are harmonious and lead to both individuals being able to help one another when in need because the foundation of love is one of compromise and balance. I am not saying a relationship founded on love is a cake walk, or that it doesn’t have moments of difficulty, we are talking about human beings here. But love allows us to be able to put the other person above ourselves. Generally it opens our eyes and our hearts to the wants and needs of someone besides ourselves, as we are able to accept their motives as genuine, because ours are. Ideally we would call that trust.

On the other hand relationships built on need tend to become clingy, disadvantaged, and extremely unhealthy. The problem is they are founded on a need for acceptance and play on a lack of self worth. The parties of the relationship tend to drag one another down in a desperate attempt to help themselves. Such  relationships are a breeding ground for resentment.  Even the greatest relationship will crumble under such weight, never mind one that has started out in an unhealthy state.

Why does need build resentment? Because no-one can fulfill the need for acceptance and self worth in you, but you. You have to be able to accept yourself first. You have to be able to live believing you are worthy. Once you have found these things for yourself, then you can proceed to build a strong and healthy relationship with some-one else. Relationships do not work when each partner is looking for the other to fulfill them. Such relationships are generally one sided and selfish. However if you can love yourself, then you can love others. I am not speaking about a vain, narcissistic love but one based on self respect, and self worth. See self love is not founded on gain. It’s not about what you can get out of yourself – “If I do this for you, what will you give me in return?” Self love is about healing and being whole.

It is a sad truth, but often we expect the other person to verify us. We are attracted to people who we feel can relate to us, who get us. Needy people tend to understand and recognize the need in others, but two needy people cannot build each other up, they can however tear each other down as it can become a “tit for tat” relationship. This is a terrible and vicious cycle.

Also some of us are “fixers”. What does that mean? It means we see the potential in other people and we want to help them see that potential too. It means we like to have “projects”. It can become our obsession getting that other person to understand how amazing they could be “if only…” The problem with that is we cannot change other people; we cannot fix anything about anyone other than ourselves unless that other person is a willing participant. And more often than not they are not aware that they “need” fixing, and when it comes right down to it they are not so keen on the idea of changing for you. Again this is a personal thing. They will change when they see the need, and are filled with the desire, and are willing to make that kind of commitment. Change is a lot of hard work. It’s especially hard work if it is being forced upon an uncooperative individual. This again is a selfish and one sided relationship.

You see, in the case of the “fixer” I am afraid that it is often so much easier to focus on changing some-one else than changing ourselves. It is easier to see the problems in others than to accept our own problems. It is, at least in the short term, easier to see the attributes we need in others and turn to them as a means to obtaining those attributes, rather than committing to changing ourselves. But in the long term this short cut will often lead to heartache, and broken relationships. Again we find ourselves in another vicious cycle.

In closing let me say: two halves do not always make a whole; they make two halves standing together trying to be whole. But two wholes somehow can come together and make one whole – how that works I’m not sure as it defies logic and mathematics, but in matters of the heart and relationships it seems to be how it works.

My Spoken Heart – Andrea Crowell